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  1. #1

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    A Tribute to the Basie Band: great chart (One O'Clock Jump) by our chief conductor/arranger/saxophonist
    Bob Mintzer from a few years ago at Kölner Philharmonie...
    Always fun to channel your inner 'Freddie Green'.


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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Nice!
    Love your work and sound!
    There's nothing more fun then playing Freddie Green style with a Big Band.

    Grüße aus Saarbrücken

    Paul

  4. #3

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    Dankeschön !

    Yes, it's big fun when it happens once in a while...

    Grüsse aus Kölle,

    auch Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by Webby View Post
    Nice!
    Love your work and sound!
    There's nothing more fun then playing Freddie Green style with a Big Band.

    Grüße aus Saarbrücken

    Paul

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Webby View Post
    Nice!
    Love your work and sound!
    There's nothing more fun then playing Freddie Green style with a Big Band.

    Grüße aus Saarbrücken

    Paul
    I agree.

  6. #5

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    Wow! Is this Paul Shighara, the guitarist with the WDR Big Band? Every recording I've heard of the WDR Big Band is fantastic, and your playing is fantastic!

    I've played that Mintzer chart, and the guitar part with the sax soli following the trombone solo is a bitch to sight read. Does Mintzer live in Germany now?
    I did a lot of gigs and a record date with John Marshall, the trumpet player; is he still over there?

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaShigsta View Post
    Dankeschön !

    Yes, it's big fun when it happens once in a while...

    Grüsse aus Kölle,

    auch Paul
    Gotta say I love all your stuff with the WDR-Bigband, I've spent many hours listening to your records!

    I actually played some Basie Charts with the Big Band Convention in Köln once, never had more fun on stage! You probably know most of these guys!





    Paul

  8. #7

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    Yeah, nice one... I've played the Mellotone chart as well. It's comes as a surprise (or not)
    when you play these charts for the first time how little was actually written into the guitar parts.

    Anyway, if you have q's re: specify charts from our repertoire shoot away !
    And if you're in C next time around let me know...

    Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by Webby View Post
    Gotta say I love all your stuff with the WDR-Bigband, I've spent many hours listening to your records!

    I actually played some Basie Charts with the Big Band Convention in Köln once, never had more fun on stage! You probably know most of these guys!



    Paul

  9. #8

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    It's still the same old me...

    Mintzer has been our Boss Bandleader for a number of years now
    and his guitar parts are always a challenge. At times very specific re: doubling sections
    and even down to single note rhythmic figures... Most often I need/want to check my parts
    with the scores to fill in the info that's missing or edit out things that don't work like close-voiced piano chords
    Mintzer lives in LA and comes over here whenever he's leading a project.

    Re: John... he's still based in Cologne after he retired from the band.

    So you've been working with him ? Great, he's an incredible MUSICIAN and a character !




    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim View Post
    Wow! Is this Paul Shighara, the guitarist with the WDR Big Band?
    Every recording I've heard of the WDR Big Band is fantastic, and your playing is fantastic!

    I've played that Mintzer chart, and the guitar part with the sax soli following the trombone solo is a bitch to sight read. Does Mintzer live in Germany now?
    I did a lot of gigs and a record date with John Marshall, the trumpet player; is he still over there?

  10. #9

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    Over the years we have guest guitar players coming in to take over the chair, so I can relax, stay home
    or check them out... and still get paid not working.

    Here's a video from 2019 when Pasquale Grasso came to do a Bud Powell project arr/cond. by Chris Byars
    without a piano... !


  11. #10

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    ....channeling Freddie NOT in a Bigband setting but just the same :

  12. #11

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    Here's a Latin Jazz track that I really like even though it's 20+ years old:
    Leo Brouwer's Danza Caracteristica feat Paquito D'Rivera and myself (playing a Sadowsky Nylon-string electric)


  13. #12

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    Love the flugelhorn, D, in the first piece! Does Mintzer write all the solos?
    Play live . . . Marinero

  14. #13

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    Writing solos ?!?

    Solos are improvised unless you're talking about the written section soli for the different horn groups.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero View Post
    Love the flugelhorn, D, in the first piece! Does Mintzer write all the solos?
    Play live . . . Marinero

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaShigsta View Post
    Writing solos ?!?

    Solos are improvised unless you're talking about the written section soli for the different horn groups.
    Hi, D,
    This is not uncommon in some big bands today as many "soloists" are clearly reading a chart. I once saw the Count Basie tribute band in Illinois in the 90's and they were definitely reading the solos. Many college/university big bands study and play written solos in performance. Doesn't make sense to me but it's clearly done. Play live . . . Marinero

  16. #15

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    Ok...

    Maybe they are following the chord changes to blow over I would hope...
    That's what I would do if it's a chart I know I'll play only once or twice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero View Post
    Hi, D,
    This is not uncommon in some big bands today as many "soloists" are clearly reading a chart. I once saw the Count Basie tribute band in Illinois in the 90's and they were definitely reading the solos. Many college/university big bands study and play written solos in performance. Doesn't make sense to me but it's clearly done. Play live . . . Marinero

  17. #16

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    Btw... if you live in Germany you can check out our WDR Bigband APP:

    WDR Big Band Play Along App - WDR Big Band - Orchester und Chor - WDR

    It's free and you can play along etc...
    Due to copyright issues it's not yet available internationally.
    Last edited by DaShigsta; 02-10-2021 at 03:59 PM.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaShigsta View Post
    Btw... if you live in Germany you can check out our WDR Bigband APP:

    WDR Big Band Play Along App - WDR Big Band - Orchester und Chor - WDR

    It's free and you can play along etc...
    Due to copyright issues it's not yet available internationally.
    highly recommended. this is a fantastic app.

  19. #18

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    It's a fun app ! Glad you like it... I'll be recording 4 more guitar tracks for the app tomorrow.
    These will be released later this year along with 2 of my favorite Vince Mendoza charts (Philadelphia & Keep It Up).

    Quote Originally Posted by djg View Post
    highly recommended. this is a fantastic app.

  20. #19

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    This app looks really interesting!

    My German is rusty, but I’m missing seeing how you actually download or access the app. Could you explain or point me to it?

  21. #20

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    Only in Germany for now...

    All single parts are available for print out within the app and you do have a dedicated mixer
    to adjust volume levels individually for all instruments...

    Here's a nice Behind-The-Scenes video with english comments from some of our members:



    Btw... if you live in Germany you can check out our WDR Bigband APP:

    WDR Big Band Play Along App - WDR Big Band - Orchester und Chor - WDR

    It's free and you can play along etc...
    Due to copyright issues it's not yet available internationally.

    Quote Originally Posted by cmajor9 View Post
    This app looks really interesting!

    My German is rusty, but I’m missing seeing how you actually download or access the app. Could you explain or point me to it?
    Last edited by DaShigsta; 02-10-2021 at 04:24 PM.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaShigsta View Post
    It's still the same old me...

    Mintzer has been our Boss Bandleader for a number of years now
    and his guitar parts are always a challenge. At times very specific re: doubling sections
    and even down to single note rhythmic figures... Most often I need/want to check my parts
    with the scores to fill in the info that's missing or edit out things that don't work like close-voiced piano chords
    Mintzer lives in LA and comes over here whenever he's leading a project.

    Re: John... he's still based in Cologne after he retired from the band.

    So you've been working with him ? Great, he's an incredible MUSICIAN and a character !
    Yeah, John played the jazz chair in what was considered Buddy Rich's best band! I played with him on both jazz gigs and club dates. We both played on one jazz album back in the the late 80s that featured Kenny Peplowsky and Jon Riley. Another trumpet player on that album just died of COVID-19.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaShigsta View Post
    Only in Germany for now...

    All single parts are available for print out within the app and you do have a dedicated mixer
    to adjust volume levels individually for all instruments...
    Thanks. I am in Germany, but still don’t see how to access the app.

  24. #23

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    Google is your best friend:

    WDR Big Band Play Along fur Jazz-Instrumente - Apps on Google Play


    WDR Big Band Play Along im App Store

    Downloaden musst Du schon selbst...

    Quote Originally Posted by cmajor9 View Post
    Thanks. I am in Germany, but still don’t see how to access the app.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaShigsta View Post

    wow this is great...when in USA?

  26. #25

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    I guess it will take a while to sort out copyright issues.

    In the meantime I recommend checking out Bob Mintzer's Big Band App:

    Bob Mintzer releases educational big band app, produced by Peter Erskine | USC Thornton School of Music

    Quote Originally Posted by jazzgtrl4 View Post
    wow this is great...when in USA?

  27. #26

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    +1 on the Mintzer app. It’s both fun and inspiring, with some really challenging charts (and not only the guitar parts!).

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaShigsta View Post
    Over the years we have guest guitar players coming in to take over the chair, so I can relax, stay home
    or check them out... and still get paid not working.

    Here's a video from 2019 when Pasquale Grasso came to do a Bud Powell project arr/cond. by Chris Byars
    without a piano... !

    I really enjoyed the series with Pasquale. Were recordings ever released? I was able to find a couple videos on YouTube, but that was it.

  29. #28

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    Me too... That's how I met Pasquale (at some of the rehearsals).
    I don't think there are plans for a release atm. He's something else !
    The arrangements were tailor-made for him by arranger Chris Byars.
    Of course Pasquale didn't even have to read most of the guitar parts.
    I have the charts and let me tell you it ain't easy... Hahaaa

    Quote Originally Posted by JSanta View Post
    I really enjoyed the series with Pasquale. Were recordings ever released?
    I was able to find a couple videos on YouTube, but that was it.

  30. #29

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    Great, John was our go-to jazz soloist when it came to Bop/HardBop ! He joined our organization after Jon Eardley died in the early 90’s. I’ve been in the band since 1999 and will soon ‘retire’... not from music !

    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim View Post
    Yeah, John played the jazz chair in what was considered Buddy Rich's best band! I played with him on both jazz gigs and club dates. We both played on one jazz album back in the the late 80s that featured Kenny Peplowsky and Jon Riley. Another trumpet player on that album just died of COVID-19.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaShigsta View Post
    Great, John was our go-to jazz soloist when it came to Bop/HardBop ! He joined our organization after Jon Eardley died in the early 90’s. I’ve been in the band since 1999 and will soon ‘retire’... not from music !
    how time flies. i vaguely remember alternating with your duo (?) at one of the stages at a jazz festival in germany. i think you played with wolfgang lackerschmidt? must have been early nineties.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaShigsta View Post
    A Tribute to the Basie Band: great chart (One O'Clock Jump) by our chief conductor/arranger/saxophonist
    Bob Mintzer from a few years ago at Kölner Philharmonie...
    Always fun to channel your inner 'Freddie Green'.

    Very nice to hear from you! Love your work and was always curious to know more about the chap in the guitar chair.

  33. #32

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    Looking forward to checking the PG concert when I get a chance

  34. #33

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    Hi Christian,

    good to meet you here... I’ve been following
    you on IG & your site for a while now. How’s life in London atm ? Great city... I’ve been there last a couple of years ago playing with Bill Laurance and the band. I do hope we can go back to ‘normal’ in the foreseeable future ! Take care, Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Very nice to hear from you! Love your work and was always curious to know more about the chap in the guitar chair.

  35. #34

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    Ha ! Time really flies... ?
    That must have been with Karl Berger if we’re talking early 90’s. The only other duo could have been with Charlie Mariano with whom I did play for 30+ years... I never played with Wolfgang L, although I've met him.

    Quote Originally Posted by djg View Post
    how time flies. i vaguely remember alternating with your duo (?) at one of the stages at a jazz festival in germany. i think you played with wolfgang lackerschmidt? must have been early nineties.
    Last edited by DaShigsta; 02-13-2021 at 11:18 AM.

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaShigsta View Post
    Hi Christian,

    good to meet you here... I’ve been following
    you on IG & your site for a while now. How’s life in London atm ? Great city... I’ve been there last a couple of years ago playing with Bill Laurance and the band. I do hope we can go back to ‘normal’ in the foreseeable future ! Take care, Paul
    oh wow! Nice.

    Personally I’m great; actually enjoying the family time.

    As far as London goes, TBH we’ve been better as with most places. been we’ve all been in lockdown for a few months.... things are getting better so hopefully we’ll be let out and about soon.

    all us musos are worried about the effect Brexit is going to have on touring in Europe and for musicians such as yourself coming to play. At the moment it is super expensive ... Moot point really at the moment in any case!

    Hope things are sorted out and you can come to play again in London sometime!
    Last edited by christianm77; 02-13-2021 at 09:55 AM.

  37. #36

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    Hi y'all... I hope you're having a nice weekend !

    Below is a video (not so nice quality, but the audio is fine) from 2000 when we did a project
    with Bill Holman, James Moody and Jeff Hamilton.
    This is the classic 'Just Friends' chart written by Holman...
































    Attachment 79194Attachment 79195Attachment 79196
    Last edited by DaShigsta; 02-22-2021 at 02:48 PM.

  38. #37

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    I always love that in big bands where they just scratch out piano and write in guitar.... I’m tickled that this happens in the top bands too lol.

    Also the pencil marks... there’s a lesson...

    Ah well nice sensible chord symbols at least

    would love to see some more parts!

  39. #38

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    That was 20+ years ago and only works with the old school big band writing. I always hate it when it happens...
    These days it's different, although most arranger's still don't (wanna) know how to really deal with guitar.
    Notable exceptions are Vince Mendoza, Maria Schneider, Bob Mintzer and Michael Abene (both to a certain extent).

    PS: Unlocking the beauty of the Just Friends chart only happens when you study the score... imho.
    Or just listen to it not playing guitar.

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I always love that in big bands where they just scratch out piano and write in guitar.... I’m tickled that this happens in the top bands too lol

    Ah well nice sensible chord symbols at least

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    would love to see some more parts!
    Here's one mo'... 1st page of Mintzer's 'When The Lady Dances'.
    This one is more difficult. Note the LH fingerings at bar 16
    which are RH friendly for fingerstyle technique, which I use 75% of the time.

    Scroll back to the very beginning of the video for this tune:



    Attachment 79226

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaShigsta View Post
    Here's one mo'... 1st page of Mintzer's 'When The Lady Dances'.
    This one is more difficult. Note the LH fingerings at bar 16
    which are RH friendly for fingerstyle technique, which I use 75% of the time.

    Scroll back to the very beginning of the video for this tune:



    Attachment 79226
    There can be no greater service for a jazz guitar forum than what Paul has just offered us today. Imagine you're playing in a hip jazz ensemble like this, and the leader calls number 47, and it just happens to be a Mintzer chart like this one.
    Your first impulse is to tell the leader you have a serious case of the 'runs', and head to the bathroom, until the chart is over.

    If that doesn't work there is the technique that a pro bass player used when he had to sight read a funk intro that he couldn't read, because it had too much 16th note syncopation. He started banging his amp, saying that it didn't work, and meanwhile asked the pianist/conductor to play the bass lick. As soon as he heard the lick played by the conductor, his amp was magically repaired, and he played the intro perfectly!

    However, if someone like Paul is nice enough to let us see the torture that the sadistic Mintzer has prepared for us beforehand, we can prevent having to resort to the measures I mentioned above, and at least have a chance at saving face in front of our peers.

    In the big band I play and write for, the leader constantly bombards us with Mintzer charts, and it is just a matter of time before he'll acquire this one and spring it on us, when we start playing again, and I'm printing it out at this moment.

    During the pandemic, I've went into a flurry of big band arranging and composition, and have churned out close to 30 new arrangements of obscure tunes that haven't been played to death, and original compositions, and I have been merciful to my brother guitarists.
    The guitar parts I've written are there to add tone color to a line that needs the punch of a plectrum attack, or the chance to take advantage of the beautiful sonority that results when the guitar is combined with two flutes. Meanwhile, I continue in the glorious tradition of 'torturing' the horns with solis that they so masochistically love... This is not to say that I write comping charts. I write all lines, but lines that I can play, not impossible lines that only horn players and pianists can play.

    I checked out the Mintzer educational app., and it only has guitar parts for two tunes. Does anyone know which tunes they are?

    A few difficult charts that I've had to sight read (in NY, you NEVER get a chance to take a part home, and I don't use a smart phone) that I bombed out on on first try are:

    "Swingin' For the Fences" (based on a well-known standard) (Gordon Goodwin)
    Some chart on a Pat Metheny song that had 32nd notes!
    A Mike Abene chart
    .

  42. #41

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    Well, Bob is the nicest bandleader you can imagine and his writing is impeccable. Not to mention he is a tenor sax titan !
    This project with the Yellowjackets is from November 2019 before the covid mess started...



    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim View Post
    In the big band I play and write for, the leader constantly bombards us with Mintzer charts, and it is just a matter of time before he'll acquire this one and spring it on us, when we start playing again...,

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaShigsta View Post
    Well, Bob is the nicest bandleader you can imagine and his writing is impeccable. Not to mention he is a tenor sax titan !
    This project with the Yellowjackets is from November 2019 before the covid mess started...

    I'm not putting him down as a musician, I'm just saying he writes guitar parts that are hard to sight read/play. I saw him play live with Elaine Elias at 7th Ave South, and he sounded great! I went with Richard Sussman, who was a friend of Mintzer's and we got comp tickets. This was the time he was touring with Jaco, and he and his wife were saying how trying the scene with Jaco was, because Jaco was 'acting out' a lot.
    RS was supposed to do a tour of Europe with his quintet with Tom Harrell, but the bread for the tour fell through, so he wound up doing a solo tour.
    When he played clubs in Germany, the Germans in the club would order him to "Spielen Der Take Five!" all the time!

    Your marking of the guitar part reminds me of the fact that I heard Barry Galbraith used to cover his parts with fingerings, and notes to himself about the most efficient picking techniques to use.
    Thanks again for posting the chart, and mentioning that it's easier to play certain parts fingerstyle.

  44. #43

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    Let me post a link that might be of interest for you as an arranger:

    WDR Big Band Library — Notation, Scoring and Score Preparation - Band - WDR Big Band - Orchester und Chor - WDR

    Me dealing with any given guitar chart (no matter how simple/complex it is) depends on my level of interest in the music. Usually I first check: overall structures, keys, meters, tacets (especially any asymmetrical numbers), any signs re:form such as repeats, segno/coda etc. I always request all the rhythm section parts plus conductor charts from the music archive department to be able to fill in my parts with as much info necessary to ‘sail through’ the music without getting lost/sidetracked... As you know it is often more complicated to correctly count through long tacet spots than playing a lot of notes... Re: LH/RH fingerings... unless you know a chart really well you better prepare for the fact that you won’t rehearse parts very often. In our case we rehearse a chart only a few times before it gets recorded within a couple of days. So I’ll print out a pdf chart, work on it til I feel it’s visually pleasing.
    I rarely touch the official parts that are on the stand unless there are changes in the overall arrangement...
    re: playing w/fingers... one important aspect is playing 2-/3-/4-/5-note chords ‘exactly at the same time’ unless you see the arpeggio sign. Pick players have a hard time doing this with an even dynamic...

    Please post a guitar part of yours !

    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim View Post
    Your marking of the guitar part reminds me of the fact that I heard Barry Galbraith used to cover his parts with fingerings, and notes to himself about the most efficient picking techniques to use.
    Thanks again for posting the chart, and mentioning that it's easier to play certain parts fingerstyle.

  45. #44

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    We had guitarists such as Scofield, Stern, Lagrene, Robben Ford, Dave Stryker, Chuck Loeb amo guesting with our band.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaShigsta View Post
    Over the years we had guest guitar players coming in to take over the chair,
    so I relaxed, stayed home or checked them out... and still got paid not working.
    Last edited by DaShigsta; 02-22-2021 at 02:56 PM.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaShigsta View Post
    Here's the first page of the 'Parisian Thoroughfare' arrangement which you can follow
    on the video with Pasquale. As you can see he's not playing off the chart but has his part memorized,
    which makes sense since he's the main soloist...


    Attachment 79314
    I’m curious; do you get some preparation time on the harder charts like the Mintzer arrangement, or is it a lot of sight reading?

  47. #46

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    It depends on the arranger and project at hand. Usually about a week+ if they handed in the charts on time.
    Some arranger's works I do want to have a look at as early as possible, others I won't even look at.
    After 20+ years of reading bigband charts I usually know what to expect...

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I’m curious; do you get some preparation time on the harder charts like the Mintzer arrangement,
    or is it a lot of sight reading?
    Last edited by DaShigsta; 02-16-2021 at 06:39 AM.

  48. #47

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    Paul, seeing your charts (and especially what you do to them) is incredibly insightful. I know I always struggled when we played Mintzer Charts with the federal youth jazz orchestra.
    There's one thing I'd love to hear your opinion about:
    What are your thoughts about detailed vs. more open parts?
    (open meaning less strict instructions in that context)

    I tend to think open parts feel better for me as part of the rhythm section (probably because everybody is more comfortable).


    Oh, just because I thought of that now: What is the best playing instruction you ever read on your part?
    I think the best one I ever read was "play something better than this" over some written out Funk-comping-riff.

    Paul

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaShigsta View Post
    Let me post a link that might be of interest for you as an arranger:

    WDR Big Band Library — Notation, Scoring and Score Preparation - Band - WDR Big Band - Orchester und Chor - WDR

    Me dealing with any given guitar chart (no matter how simple/complex it is) depends on my level of interest in the music. Usually I first check: overall structures, keys, meters, tacets (especially any asymmetrical numbers), any signs re:form such as repeats, segno/coda etc. I always request all the rhythm section parts plus conductor charts from the music archive department to be able to fill in my parts with as much info necessary to ‘sail through’ the music without getting lost/sidetracked... As you know it is often more complicated to correctly count through long tacet spots than playing a lot of notes... Re: LH/RH fingerings... unless you know a chart really well you better prepare for the fact that you won’t rehearse parts very often. In our case we rehearse a chart only a few times before it gets recorded within a couple of days. So I’ll print out a pdf chart, work on it til I feel it’s visually pleasing.
    I rarely touch the official parts that are on the stand unless there are changes in the overall arrangement...
    re: playing w/fingers... one important aspect is playing 2-/3-/4-/5-note chords ‘exactly at the same time’ unless you see the arpeggio sign. Pick players have a hard time doing this with an even dynamic...

    Please post a guitar part of yours !

    Thanks for the link! My computer skills are sorely lacking in those three aspects of arranging, and I don't even have the skills or equipment to post a guitar part from one of my charts. All I know how to do is to print all the parts out on the software I use (MuseScore).

    I've got no idea how to scan a guitar part. Someone tried to teach me once, and it got so complicated, I told him forget it.
    I think I'd learn it much easier if I google it, and print out the instructions. Thanks, again!

  50. #49

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    What does "Play 16" mean? It looks like it's a rest, but it says Play. ???

    These are some difficult charts.

    Arrangers give some thought to how the charts are going to be used. Most guitar players are going to struggle nailing that Mintzer chart.
    The other one looks pretty simple, until you look at the tempo marking: 260 beats per what? So, most guitarists are going to struggle with that too.

    If the guitar player gets the chart in advance and has a chance to rehearse, it can make sense, like in a recording situation.

    But, in a gigging band, where you may have a sub guitar player, I don't think you can expect to hear that part played as written. For that reason, a lot of arrangers, including pros, keep the required skill level a little lower. For guitar, I see harder parts (re chops), typically, by amateur arrangers than pros, with some exceptions (Steps Ahead charts come to mind). That is, the pros don't require, so often, massive chops. They do require an ability to read the hits, which can be complex, but if you know where they fall actually playing the part isn't that tough.

    Either that, or there's a monster level of reading guitar players I haven't met.

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    What does "Play 16" mean? It looks like it's a rest, but it says Play. ???
    That's simple. It means: Play the first 16 bars of this tune (Just Friends), the second 16 bars
    and then you start the form all over again. You better know the changes...

    These are some difficult charts.
    Yes, difficult, but not impossible. Real difficult ones also do exist though...

    Arrangers give some thought to how the charts are going to be used.
    Most guitar players are going to struggle nailing that Mintzer chart.
    The other one looks pretty simple, until you look at the tempo marking: 260 beats per what?
    So, most guitarists are going to struggle with that too.
    In my 20 years with the WDR Big Band I've personally worked with Bill Dobbins, Michael Abene,
    Rich DeRosa and Bob Mintzer as chief arrangers/conductors and Vince Mendoza as Composer-In-Residence
    and played hundreds of charts by all great and not so great arrangers. All these guys are well aware of how
    their charts are being used so they write accordingly because they can...
    Naturally these are not for 'most guitar players'. Playing, reading and recording under pressure is a different ballgame,
    which you can't simulate/practice at home.

    If the guitar player gets the chart in advance and has a chance to rehearse,
    it can make sense, like in a recording situation.
    These kinds of charts are not for high school/college bands.
    We get the music (sometimes ahead of time), rehearse and always record... audio/video these days.

    But, in a gigging band, where you may have a sub guitar player, I don't think you can expect to hear that part played as written. For that reason, a lot of arrangers, including pros, keep the required skill level a little lower. For guitar, I see harder parts (re chops), typically, by amateur arrangers than pros, with some exceptions (Steps Ahead charts come to mind). That is, the pros don't require, so often, massive chops. They do require an ability to read the hits, which can be complex, but if you know where they fall actually playing the part isn't that tough.
    Gigging band ?!? Where do you live ?
    Care to elaborate about your experiences re:what you wrote above ?
    A chart is only as good as the player playing/reading it... imho.

    Either that, or there's a monster level of reading guitar players I haven't met.
    There are some, but not very many... And there are almost no real-life opportunities left to develop these abilities.

    Chuck Loeb was a fantastic sight-reader - he was here a few years doing a project with Steps Ahead and our band.

    One of my first subbing gigs with our band was playing the big band guitar parts for a recording project with Scofield
    and Jim McNeely 'East Coast Blow Out'. Sco was playing his a&% off while I had to read the hard stuff... Hahaaa

    Overall, guitar players don't have a good reputation re: reading etc in the general music world.
    Compared to your average classically trained musician there's still a lot of room to improve.
    You only learn these things when you HAVE to... most don't.
    Back to working on the chart we have to record tomorrow...

    PS: Here's a bit about the Steps Ahead session

    Last edited by DaShigsta; 02-17-2021 at 07:36 AM.